Working on Book Three

 Page Four

Let me show you a bit more of the Jacket.

Here is a section on the back, it portrays the stitch work that I wanted to include, and repeats the theme of birch bark, woodcarving and acorns which appear on the front cover.

In the center are Mamsey and Mopkin in their birchbark canoe,

There will be room enough in the water for the ISBN code and some text. Keep in mind, this is the BACK of the Jacket.

I am not going to show you the complete jacket until it is painted, just bits and pieces. I have to say I am very happy with it, I think it is my BEST jacket so far!!!!

Here is another tiny peek at the lower right hand corner, FRONT of jacket.


I've done it! I have finished all my drawings, Hurrah!

This pile of art represents 36 pages, endpaper art and a book jacket .

Now I get to paint....EVERYTHING! Time for a new frame of mind. Goodbye pencils, hello water, brushes, and paints.

My first painting will be the copyright page, it is also the introduction:

"Deep in the woods of Hopalong Hollow,

There is a path that you can follow;

Winding neath cool canopies, of leafy gnarled Chestnut trees,

Past river bend and crystal spring, where woodland Thrushes nest and sing;

 Just up and over the blackberry fell,

Where Mamsey Bear and Mopking dwell."

I have taped it down and completely wet the paper. I am typing this as the paper dries. My next step will be to put a watercolor wash over the entire piece. Because I want this to be a "cool picture" I will use a lovely blue wash....

  I realize that my bear house is a bit out of perspective, and I was going to remedy that, Then I decided, NO! I  rather like crooked , funny shaped homes, and so it shall be.

I will bring you along as I begin to lay down my colors.

I'll have to refresh my water often. I love this little crockery with 4 bowls!


I am starting with the house, It is made from plaster and timbers. I have loaded 3 brushes. One with Burnt Sienna, one with Sepia Brown and one with Paynes Grey (which looks almost black, but is actually a deep blue)

These are very fine tipped brushes, 1/8 daggers and a 18/0 round. I will use these brushes almost exclusively to paint this book.


 I am painting the timbers to look very aged and rustic. This may take awhile.


I am using layer upon layer of watercolor here.  I have decided upon a blue roof.... with a few red tiles.Itis not as dark as it appears in this picture.


The colors reproduced here are WAY off. My water is much bluer than shown here...

Still more details to finish up, hopefully one more day and this piece will be finished.

I love how the canoe turned out!

Page complete.

The little grassy section beyond the bridge will have My book dedication. The stretch of moss on the far left will contain the text with copyright info and the open stretch of green above and to the right of the canoe will have an introduction. Please go to my blog entry dated 1/15, I made a little You Tube video of this piece. Click on the "Hopalong Hollow Gazette" link below.

 Now I will be painting Mamsey and Mopkin for the first time.

Usually, I would paint the characters first and then the background. But in this picture, I need to paint a purple summer night sky first


 because I do not yet know....

which colors would look best on the bear clothing to contrast with the rest of the painting.


I am thinking of Mopkin in red and Yellow... and Mamsey..hmmmm, I just don't know.

 I ended up with these clothing choices. I wanted  a sharp contrast to the cool aquas, blues and purples of the landscape

 What do you think?

Lets move on to another page... Here's a little corner.


On this page, I want a warm look, so I used a yellow ochre wash over the entire page.


"Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle" Michelangelo would know perfection, wouldn't he??! Well, My art will NEVER be perfection, but I do love "trifles", I think they add  much to a painting.  Actually, I prefer that things be rather imperfect in my illustrations. a little crooked, a little quirky, a bit disheveled . You will notice that everything has a look of aged rusticity, like heirlooms passed down from one bear generation to the next. The house has been in Mamsey's  family for over 225 years!

You can see where the text is going on the page, above

I need more shadows beneath the bed, but the foreground will have a little text, so I don't want it too dark.

 The brick wall below needed to be "aged". I don't even know how may days I spent on this piece... it was a long process,  so many "trifles".  But that's my illustration style. I think it is worth the effort for those who like my books.

Another piece finished! Hurrah, for tomorrow I get to paint Dimity Doormouse again.

OH DEAR! You must think I am not working on my book, sorry! I am just so busy with it, I haven't had time to  post photos, but I will very soon.

I really must stay out of the garden....


On to page 5

Working On Book Three:

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